the goose is in a little stream holding a tiny model of a goose in its mouth

Untitled Goose Game @ Nintendo Switch

Review date:

Emoji summary: 🦆🗣😏

Review by: GDLP

on wednesday I got a lift from a woman who just started kung fu at the club ive been going to for the past month. she asked how old I was and when I told her 25 she was excited, saying that was the BEST age because it’s all about ~manoeuvring~ and ~expressing your boundaries~, something she wishes she’d done more of but made sure to encourage in me now. driving down a dual carriage way in the rain and the dark, she was giving me a very relevant horoscope and some spooky narrative confirmation for my whole life without knowing anything about me. i think it was something I needed to hear.

Moving home 3 years ago stress-tested my whole body, landed me with hospital tests and therapy and a fear i was a ruined person forever. it set off a new state of anxiety / or an old one I’d never dealt with. just, too much has happened in my childhood home for it to qualify as a Home anymore, but am also not rich so I’ve had to put up with living amongst these catalysts for Bad Vibes. earlier this year i was just about getting to a place where i could deal with the house being instrumental; somewhere to sleep, wash n store stuff. i would avoid it where possible but it wasn’t unbearable bc even if things were bad, I had my sister and she had my back. well,,,, that linchpin relationship has sorta come undone, it’s loosey goosey now and I’ve gotta get out. my house is a cursed image and i want to slowly step away from the problem like Homer backing up and through the cartoon bushes behind him. no more drama, no more drama baby. a few years ago I would have been weepy online about not having a picture perfect mum-dad-sister-me set up but instead i have this very physical relief because it’s more valuable to know where I stand with people (so I know how much or how little to give them). As the kung fu carpool prophesized, it is time to do some ~manoeuvring~ and ~expressing [of] my boundaries~ and so, this week I made the decision to haul my belongings in a picnic blanket at the end of a stick over my shoulder and move into my nan’s house. so get on that.

It’s lowkey a momentous decision and as much as i wanna act cool about the whole thing, my brain has been sloooow-motion this week on account of all the letting go. Couldn’t concentrate on GBBO, had to keep asking my boyfriend what the challenge was; n i got to the end of cooking dinner and hadn’t even put the spaghetti on. i’ve been watching endless episodes of Hot Ones interviews instead of doing work which is unheard of; i am the type of self-employed dickhead who doesn’t stop making work up for myself because office hours don’t exist for me and i LIKE IT that way. but ive done nothing this week. Uh. Yeah i was energised at first by problem-solving my own life and then i was deflated; my batteries are smaller than I think. in that daze 2 days ago, and on a bit of a whim tbh, i downloaded Untitled Goose Game which i was only aware of bc it has been making the meme rounds all October. i thought it would be a bit of fun and nonsense, and it wasn’t something I was planning to write about but I need to. I need to say thank you to the people who made the game because it has reset my head and cleared the skies. It was the right game at the right time, like the conversation with the woman in the car. I don’t know what the future will bring but I know I can’t go back, and with everything up in the air, zoning out n wilding, untitled goose game became the perfect tether to catch me before I floated away down the vector river.

it is a small video game that positions you as a nondescript goose. he honks, he flaps his wings, and runs clumsily like a goose would - have u ever tried running with scuba flippers on? it is comedy gold. The goose’s MO is to annoy villagers by untying their shoelaces, dragging the groundskeeper’s rake into the lake, scaring a kid til he hides in a phone booth and all these inane rascal tasks. Maybe i needed to be a menace too because, put simply, the world has been menacing me. This game gave me the chance to get my own back with some softcore middle-fingers-up slapstick gameplay. I don’t have capacity or interest in suggesting edits because it served me well; as i said, I am writing this to show support for developers House House and bc I want them to know the goose game was surprisingly meaningful to me. maybe, this specific week, i was destined to waddle through its dreamy flat palette causing murder against a Miyazaki-like soundtrack. It allowed me to focus, and it gave me the quite necessary space to get my anger out in small walled bursts the way you’d allow a child in therapy to throw a teddy full speed at the wall. It took me one evening to get to the credits and circle back with the golden bell in my beak which was a beautiful round ending to the tale, like it was this overarching treasure hunt all along: the goose’s behaviour absolved ! the cunning justified ! personal meaning transferred onto game because of personal needs, successful ! the goose manoeuvred to get what he wanted from this life, he gave no fucks, put his head down and got on with it, looked out for number 1, did the thing, and now i am ready to do the same.

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the goose is causing havoc in a little outdoor shop, and there are items strewn all over the floor. the shopkeeper is now running at the goose who is holding a pair of glasses in its mouth
the end of the credits says ‘this game was made on the lands of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to their Elders, past and present. Sovereignty was never ceded’
a groundskeeper is bending over wearing a sun hat while the goose is stood behind him next to a sign that says no geese
a man is sat on the floor with a bucket over his head and a load of squashed tomatos under him